## Is there a mathematical formula for happiness?

It would be so easy to achieve happiness if we could apply a mathematical formula. Like working out the area of a room in order to lay carpet. Multiply x by y and you end up with z. If only there weren’t so many variables requiring brackets and indices….

Yet there does seem to be a pattern or sequence of some kind relating personal happiness with congruence…the more congruent each area of our lives become, the more personal happiness we experience. While I am rubbish at algebra, I cannot help thinking that a better grasp of mathermatical equations would help me achieve the answers I am looking for.

A formula for happiness could be surprising yet simply revolutionary when one considers how much many of us put up with in order to ensure the happiness of others and sacrifice our own congruence in the process.

I suspect I may not be alone in brushing over areas of my life which are decidedly not congruent and yet I keep going because it is easier to stay unhappy than make major changes in my life. I blame myself for not making things work, not succeeding, when actually I am trying to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

Getting sober throws up a great many conundrums about congruence. In the drinking days it was a lot simpler – one got drunk to cover boredom, fatigue, frustration, disillusionment, took the hangover on the chin and kept going. As a sober person, the areas of my life which were/are not congruent become more obvious and less easy to ignore. No wonder a good many people experience the ‘fuck it’ syndrome and decide conscious awareness is just too painful/inconvenient/disappointing to bear sober.

Humans have a tendency to categorise areas of their life, and shun the overlaps, but compartmentalising does sometimes make it easier to identify where changes could be made to improve personal happiness. Some experts suggest:
• Career
• Relationships ( friends, partner, clients )
• Professional Achievements
• Parenthood
• Financial Freedom
• ‘Projects’
There are many more both general and specific categories which might apply to you as an individual, so these are not meant to be directive, instead suggestive.
From my own point of view I am doing a little audit currently and asking myself in each of my personal categories:

What do I want in / from ‘CATEGORY?’
What do I need in / from ‘CATEGORY?’
What do I expect in / from ‘CATEGORY?’

I am allowing myself any number of possible answers and considering the results, to see which feel most congruent. Which are wants and which are needs for me and which are to satisfy other people’s expectations, and indeed which may be a combination of both. If you are doing this, try grading your answers on a numerical scale (maths can be handy sometimes).

Be aspirational and allow yourself to dream. Where answers about ideal scenarios are above a 7 for example, that is a great place to begin asking some questions…How do I want / need / expect this to happen?

Where your scores in your personal categories are very low, you may wish to ask yourself…What is valuable to / for me in having this fairly low score? What personal values are actually being preserved?

Asking myself pretty searching and basic questions is really an exercise in unpacking previously undefined needs, wants and expectations. Things that have been buzzing about in my head for years but I have never managed to pin them down, because frankly, asking the questions has been too scary. Upsetting the status quo, no matter how unhappy that status quo makes me, has been a step too far. Yet are insights into wanting, needing and expecting not worth having, in order to achieve greater personal happiness? Might there by new and different ways to do things which could lead to more personal congruence?